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Susanne G. Pondorfer, Jan H. Terheyden, Helen Overhoff, Jana Stasch-Bouws, Frank G. Holz, Robert P. Finger; Development of the Vision Impairment in Low Luminance Questionnaire. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(1):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.1.5.
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The purpose of this study was to design and evaluate an instrument for assessing vision-related quality of life appropriate for the specific visual impairment characteristic for all stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), with a focus on the low luminance deficit in early/intermediate stages.
A standardized questionnaire was developed in three steps with participants with early, intermediate, and late AMD: (1) based on in-depth interviews (n = 19) and two focus group discussions (n = 5 each), content was developed followed by 2. (2) The questionnaire development using cognitive debriefing interviews (n = 3) and leading to a preliminary version of the questionnaire. (3) This version was then administered to 127 participants with early, intermediate, and late AMD. Psychometric properties, such as response category functioning (floor and ceiling effects) and targeting of item difficulty to patient ability of the pilot Vision Impairment in Low Luminance (VILL) questionnaire were evaluated using Rasch analysis.
The preliminary VILL questionnaire consisted of 68 items with a 5-step response scale. Several items were removed based on floor/ceiling effects or misfit and a final pool of 37 items remained. The response scale was collapsed to four categories as one category was underutilized. The targeting of the instrument was good with minimal difference in person and item means (0.52 logits). Precision was also good with a person separation index of 3.55 and reliability of 0.93. There was evidence of multidimensionality (eigenvalue of the first contrast = 5.95) in the scale, which could be resolved by splitting the items into subscales including a reading, mobility, and emotional well-being subscale.
Individuals with AMD report difficulties with vision-related activities and functioning under visually challenging conditions at all stages of the disease. These aspects were considered when developing the 37-item VILL, which demonstrates promising psychometric characteristics. Further assessments of reliability and validity are warranted.
The VILL questionnaire is a new patient-reported outcome (PRO) measure developed for future use in AMD studies.
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